101 Great Filmmaker Quotes

There are no rules in filmmaking. Only sins. And the cardinal sin is dullness.Frank Capra
If I were ever stranded on a desert island there would be three things I’d need: food, shelter, and a grip.George C. Scott
We don’t make movies to make money, we make money to make more movies.Walt Disney
There’s nothing creative about living within your means.Francis Ford Coppola
I was always a filmmaker before I was anything else. If I was always anything, I was a storyteller, and it never really made much of a difference to me what medium I worked in. Nicholas Meyer
People have forgotten how to tell a story. Stories don’t have a middle or an end any more. They usually have a beginning that never stops beginning.Steven Spielberg
I think it’s a very strange question that I have to defend myself. I don’t feel that. You are all my guests, it’s not the other way around, that’s how I feel.Lars Von Trier
If two men on a job agree all the time, then one is useless. If they disagree all the time, then both are useless.Daryl F. Zanuck
Film is incredibly democratic and accessible, it’s probably the best option if you actually want to change the world, not just re-decorate it.Banksy
In England, I’m a horror movie director. In Germany, I’m a filmmaker. In the US, I’m a bum. John Carpenter
My three Ps: passion, patience, perseverance. You have to do this if you’ve got to be a filmmaker.Robert Wise
There is no reason why challenging themes and engaging stories have to be mutually exclusive – in fact, each can fuel the other. As a filmmaker, I want to entertain people first and foremost. If out of that comes a greater awareness and understanding of a time or a circumstance, then the hope is that change can happen.Edward Zwick
When you start out as a filmmaker, you do parodies, because you can’t really compete on a studio level.Bill Paxton
As a filmmaker you get typecast just as much as an actor does, so I’m trapped in a genre that I love, but I’m trapped in it!George A. Romero
Everybody’s a filmmaker today.John Milius
Pain is temporary, film is forever!John Milius
I would travel down to Hell and wrestle a film away from the devil if it was necessary.Werner Herzog
My movie is born first in my head, dies on paper; is resuscitated by the living persons and real objects I use, which are killed on film but, placed in a certain order and projected on to a screen, come to life again like flowers in water.Robert Bresson
The wide screen reminds me of a roll of toilet paper.Yasujiro Ozu
I like tits and ass. Mostly tits.Paul Verhoeven
Editing feels almost like sculpting or a form of continuing the writing process.Sydney Pollack
I don’t have a moral plan, I’m a Canadian.David Cronenberg
(When asked what a director does) I help.Krzysztof Kieslowski
Film is a battleground.Sam Fuller
There’s nothing quite like the idea of failing spectacularly to excite a film makerMike Figgis
Drama is life with the dull bits cut out.Alfred Hitchcock
The enemy of art is the absence of limitations.Orson Welles
A story should have a beginning, a middle and an end… but not necessarily in that order.Jean-Luc Godard
Documentaries have always inspired me in narrative filmmaking.Griffin Dunne
Nobody will ever notice that. Filmmaking is not about the tiny details. It’s about the big picture.Ed Wood
Movies took you right up to the edge but kept you safe.John Updike
This Whole World is Wild at Heart and Weird on Top.David Lynch
Films are always pretentious. There’s nothing more pretentious than a filmmaker.John Milius
I couldn’t sleep one night and I was sitting in my office and I realized that I was an independent filmmaker.Darren Aronofsky
If filmmaking was a beautiful woman, I would have trouble wooing her because she’s a needy jerk.Justin Bundy
I think one of the privileges of being a filmmaker is the opportunity to remain a kind of perpetual student.Edward Zwick
Self-plagiarism is style.Alfred Hitchcock
What I always tell people is… Unless you are so passionate about filmmaking that you would rather live out of your car than not do it, find something else to do as a career and do filmmaking as a hobby. This industry is one of the hardest to break into and be successful. It takes a lot of passion and dedication for it to get anywhere…Ryan Connolly
A Great Movie Evolves when Everybody Has the Same Vision in Their Heads.Alan Parker
A film is – or should be – more like music than like fiction. It should be a progression of moods and feelings. The theme, what’s behind the emotion, the meaning, all that comes later.Stanley Kubrick
No art passes our conscience in the way film does, and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls.Ingmar Bergman
The Biggest Mistake in Student Films is That They Are Usually Cast So Badly, With Friends and People the Directors Know.Brian De Palma
Nothing Recedes Like Success.Bryan Forbes
All I Need to Make a Comedy is a Park, a Policeman and a Pretty Girl.Charlie Chaplin
The Best Actors Instinctively Feel out What the Other Actors Need, and They Just Accommodate It.Christopher Nolan
Anxiety is the Handmaiden of Creativity.Chuck Jones
Censors Tend to Do What Only Psychotics Do: They Confuse Reality With Illusion.David Cronenberg
Art Depends on Luck and Talent.Francis Ford Coppola
A Hunch is Creativity Trying to Tell You Something.Frank Capra
If You Want to Send a Message, Try Western Union.Frank Capra
Although I Write Screenplays, I Don’t Think I’m a Good Writer.George Lucas
People Watch Luck Go by Them and They’re Blind – They Never Reach out and Grab It.George Roy Hill
And Later I Thought, I Can’t Think How Anyone Can Become a Director Without Learning the Craft of Cinematography.Gus Van Sant
I think audiences get too comfortable and familiar in today’s movies. They believe everything they’re hearing and seeing. I like to shake that up.Christopher Nolan
Photography is Truth. The Cinema is Truth Twenty-four Times Per Second.Jean-Luc Godard
A Film is a Petrified Fountain of Thought.Jean Cocteau
A Director Makes Only One Movie in His Life. Then He Breaks It Into Pieces and Makes It Again.Jean Renoir
I Don’t Try to Guess What a Million People Will Like. It’s Hard Enough to Know What I Like.John Huston
Life is Like a B-picture Script. It is That Corny. If I Had My Life Story Offered to Me to Film, I’d Turn It Down.Kirk Douglas
I Am Certain There is Too Much Certainty in the World.Michael Crichton
If you have to have a job in this world, a high-priced movie star is a pretty good gig.Tom Hanks
A Team Effort is a Lot of People Doing What I Say.Michael Winner
The Only Safe Thing is to Take a Chance.Mike Nichols
I Hate Television. I Hate It As Much As Peanuts. But I Can’t Stop Eating Peanuts.Orson Welles
If a Million People See My Movie, I Hope They See a Million Different Movies.Quentin Tarantino
The End of a Picture is Always an End of a Life. Sam Peckinpah
A Lot of Times You Get Credit for Stuff in Your Movie You Didn’t Intend to Be There.Spike Lee
A Movie That Costs Only $1.6 Million Doesn’t Have to Be a Cultural Event to Turn a Profit.Steven Soderbergh
Why Pay a Dollar for a Bookmark? Why Not Use the Dollar for a Bookmark?Steven Spielberg
The More Opinions You Have, the Less You See.Wim Wenders
Eighty Percent of Success is Turning Up.Woody Allen
If My Film Makes One More Person Miserable, I’ve Done My Job.Woody Allen
It’s all just one film to me. Just different chapters.Robert Altman
If there’s specific resistance to women making movies, I just choose to ignore that as an obstacle for two reasons: I can’t change my gender, and I refuse to stop making movies.Kathryn Bigelow
You see so many movies… the younger people who are coming from MTV or who are coming from commercials and there’s no sense of film grammar. There’s no real sense of how to tell a story visually. It’s just cut, cut, cut, cut, cut, you know, which is pretty easy.Peter Bogdanovich
Pick up a camera. Shoot something. No matter how small, no matter how cheesy, no matter whether your friends and your sister star in it. Put your name on it as director. Now you’re a director. Everything after that you’re just negotiating your budget and your fee.James Cameron
We tend to do period stuff because it helps make it one step removed from boring everyday reality.Ethan Coen
In the future, everybody is going to be a director. Somebody’s got to live a real life so we have something to make a movie about.Cameron Crowe
First cuts are a bitch for a director, because it’s been so many months and you put your trust in your editor and you’re going to see your film assembled for the first time. You look at it and go, This is terrible. I hate it.Richard Donner
Our feeling is that the most important thing on a set is that actors have enough confidence to try different things. If there’s stress or tension, they won’t go out on a limb because they won’t want to embarrass themselves if they don’t feel completely comfortable.Peter Farrelly
Casting is 65 percent of directing.John Frankenheimer
Movement should be a counter, whether in action scenes or dialogue or whatever. It counters where your eye is going. This style thing, for me it’s all fitted to the action, to the script, to the characters.Samuel Fuller
I’m a storyteller – that’s the chief function of a director. And they’re moving pictures, let’s make ‘em move!Howard Hawks
One of the great things about being a director as a life choice is that it can never be mastered. Every story is its own kind of expedition, with its own set of challenges.Ron Howard
Most of my characters are romantic rather than sexual. I think that’s an essential difference in my pictures. I think they are more accurate in portraying young people as romantic – as wanting a relationship, an understanding with a member of the opposite sex more than just physical sex.John Hughes
The directing of a picture involves coming out of your individual loneliness and taking a controlling part in putting together a small world. A picture is made. You put a frame around it and move on. And one day you die. That is all there is to it.John Huston
I’m like a navigator and I try to encourage our collaboration and find the best way that will produce fruit. I like fruit. I like cherries, I like bananas.Jim Jarmusch
I think maybe making films is something innate you can’t really teach to begin with.Richard Linklater
But having a really good understanding of history, literature, psychology, sciences – is very, very important to actually being able to make movies.George Lucas
Commitment is the enemy of resistance, for it is the serious promise to press on, to get up, no matter how many times you are knocked down.David McNally
I always believe it’s better to have 30 imaginations working on a project, rather than one imagination telling the other 29 what to do.Trevor Nunn
Cinema should make you forget you are sitting in a theater.Roman Polanski
A style is not a matter of camera angles or fancy footwork, it’s an expression, an accurate expression of your particular opinion.Karel Reisz
I love making people laugh. It’s an addiction and it’s probably dysfunctional, but I am addicted to it and there’s no greater pleasure for me than sitting in a theater and feeling a lot of people losing control of themselves.Jay Roach
It’s always been my formula to get the next picture set up before anyone’s seen the last one.Alan Rudolph
Cinema is a matter of what’s in the frame and what’s out.Martin Scorsese
People say I pay too much attention to the look of a movie but for God’s sake, I’m not producing a Radio 4 Play for Today, I’m making a movie that people are going to look at.Ridley Scott
A director must be a policeman, a midwife, a psychoanalyst, a sycophant and a bastard.Billy Wilder

101 Great Filmmaker Quotes

There are no rules in filmmaking. Only sins. And the cardinal sin is dullness.
Frank Capra

If I were ever stranded on a desert island there would be three things I’d need: food, shelter, and a grip.
George C. Scott

We don’t make movies to make money, we make money to make more movies.
Walt Disney

There’s nothing creative about living within your means.
Francis Ford Coppola

I was always a filmmaker before I was anything else. If I was always anything, I was a storyteller, and it never really made much of a difference to me what medium I worked in.
Nicholas Meyer

People have forgotten how to tell a story. Stories don’t have a middle or an end any more. They usually have a beginning that never stops beginning.
Steven Spielberg

I think it’s a very strange question that I have to defend myself. I don’t feel that. You are all my guests, it’s not the other way around, that’s how I feel.
Lars Von Trier

If two men on a job agree all the time, then one is useless. If they disagree all the time, then both are useless.
Daryl F. Zanuck

Film is incredibly democratic and accessible, it’s probably the best option if you actually want to change the world, not just re-decorate it.
Banksy

In England, I’m a horror movie director. In Germany, I’m a filmmaker. In the US, I’m a bum.
John Carpenter

My three Ps: passion, patience, perseverance. You have to do this if you’ve got to be a filmmaker.
Robert Wise

There is no reason why challenging themes and engaging stories have to be mutually exclusive – in fact, each can fuel the other. As a filmmaker, I want to entertain people first and foremost. If out of that comes a greater awareness and understanding of a time or a circumstance, then the hope is that change can happen.
Edward Zwick

When you start out as a filmmaker, you do parodies, because you can’t really compete on a studio level.
Bill Paxton

As a filmmaker you get typecast just as much as an actor does, so I’m trapped in a genre that I love, but I’m trapped in it!
George A. Romero

Everybody’s a filmmaker today.
John Milius

Pain is temporary, film is forever!
John Milius

I would travel down to Hell and wrestle a film away from the devil if it was necessary.
Werner Herzog

My movie is born first in my head, dies on paper; is resuscitated by the living persons and real objects I use, which are killed on film but, placed in a certain order and projected on to a screen, come to life again like flowers in water.
Robert Bresson

The wide screen reminds me of a roll of toilet paper.
Yasujiro Ozu

I like tits and ass. Mostly tits.
Paul Verhoeven

Editing feels almost like sculpting or a form of continuing the writing process.
Sydney Pollack

I don’t have a moral plan, I’m a Canadian.
David Cronenberg

(When asked what a director does) I help.
Krzysztof Kieslowski

Film is a battleground.
Sam Fuller

There’s nothing quite like the idea of failing spectacularly to excite a film maker
Mike Figgis

Drama is life with the dull bits cut out.
Alfred Hitchcock

The enemy of art is the absence of limitations.
Orson Welles

A story should have a beginning, a middle and an end… but not necessarily in that order.
Jean-Luc Godard

Documentaries have always inspired me in narrative filmmaking.
Griffin Dunne

Nobody will ever notice that. Filmmaking is not about the tiny details. It’s about the big picture.
Ed Wood

Movies took you right up to the edge but kept you safe.
John Updike

This Whole World is Wild at Heart and Weird on Top.
David Lynch

Films are always pretentious. There’s nothing more pretentious than a filmmaker.
John Milius

I couldn’t sleep one night and I was sitting in my office and I realized that I was an independent filmmaker.
Darren Aronofsky

If filmmaking was a beautiful woman, I would have trouble wooing her because she’s a needy jerk.
Justin Bundy

I think one of the privileges of being a filmmaker is the opportunity to remain a kind of perpetual student.
Edward Zwick

Self-plagiarism is style.
Alfred Hitchcock

What I always tell people is… Unless you are so passionate about filmmaking that you would rather live out of your car than not do it, find something else to do as a career and do filmmaking as a hobby. This industry is one of the hardest to break into and be successful. It takes a lot of passion and dedication for it to get anywhere…
Ryan Connolly

A Great Movie Evolves when Everybody Has the Same Vision in Their Heads.
Alan Parker

A film is – or should be – more like music than like fiction. It should be a progression of moods and feelings. The theme, what’s behind the emotion, the meaning, all that comes later.
Stanley Kubrick

No art passes our conscience in the way film does, and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls.
Ingmar Bergman

The Biggest Mistake in Student Films is That They Are Usually Cast So Badly, With Friends and People the Directors Know.
Brian De Palma

Nothing Recedes Like Success.
Bryan Forbes

All I Need to Make a Comedy is a Park, a Policeman and a Pretty Girl.
Charlie Chaplin

The Best Actors Instinctively Feel out What the Other Actors Need, and They Just Accommodate It.
Christopher Nolan

Anxiety is the Handmaiden of Creativity.
Chuck Jones

Censors Tend to Do What Only Psychotics Do: They Confuse Reality With Illusion.
David Cronenberg

Art Depends on Luck and Talent.
Francis Ford Coppola

A Hunch is Creativity Trying to Tell You Something.
Frank Capra

If You Want to Send a Message, Try Western Union.
Frank Capra

Although I Write Screenplays, I Don’t Think I’m a Good Writer.
George Lucas

People Watch Luck Go by Them and They’re Blind – They Never Reach out and Grab It.
George Roy Hill

And Later I Thought, I Can’t Think How Anyone Can Become a Director Without Learning the Craft of Cinematography.
Gus Van Sant

I think audiences get too comfortable and familiar in today’s movies. They believe everything they’re hearing and seeing. I like to shake that up.
Christopher Nolan

Photography is Truth. The Cinema is Truth Twenty-four Times Per Second.
Jean-Luc Godard

A Film is a Petrified Fountain of Thought.
Jean Cocteau

A Director Makes Only One Movie in His Life. Then He Breaks It Into Pieces and Makes It Again.
Jean Renoir

I Don’t Try to Guess What a Million People Will Like. It’s Hard Enough to Know What I Like.
John Huston

Life is Like a B-picture Script. It is That Corny. If I Had My Life Story Offered to Me to Film, I’d Turn It Down.
Kirk Douglas

I Am Certain There is Too Much Certainty in the World.
Michael Crichton

If you have to have a job in this world, a high-priced movie star is a pretty good gig.
Tom Hanks

A Team Effort is a Lot of People Doing What I Say.
Michael Winner

The Only Safe Thing is to Take a Chance.
Mike Nichols

I Hate Television. I Hate It As Much As Peanuts. But I Can’t Stop Eating Peanuts.
Orson Welles

If a Million People See My Movie, I Hope They See a Million Different Movies.
Quentin Tarantino

The End of a Picture is Always an End of a Life.
Sam Peckinpah

A Lot of Times You Get Credit for Stuff in Your Movie You Didn’t Intend to Be There.
Spike Lee

A Movie That Costs Only $1.6 Million Doesn’t Have to Be a Cultural Event to Turn a Profit.
Steven Soderbergh

Why Pay a Dollar for a Bookmark? Why Not Use the Dollar for a Bookmark?
Steven Spielberg

The More Opinions You Have, the Less You See.
Wim Wenders

Eighty Percent of Success is Turning Up.
Woody Allen

If My Film Makes One More Person Miserable, I’ve Done My Job.
Woody Allen

It’s all just one film to me. Just different chapters.
Robert Altman

If there’s specific resistance to women making movies, I just choose to ignore that as an obstacle for two reasons: I can’t change my gender, and I refuse to stop making movies.
Kathryn Bigelow

You see so many movies… the younger people who are coming from MTV or who are coming from commercials and there’s no sense of film grammar. There’s no real sense of how to tell a story visually. It’s just cut, cut, cut, cut, cut, you know, which is pretty easy.
Peter Bogdanovich

Pick up a camera. Shoot something. No matter how small, no matter how cheesy, no matter whether your friends and your sister star in it. Put your name on it as director. Now you’re a director. Everything after that you’re just negotiating your budget and your fee.
James Cameron

We tend to do period stuff because it helps make it one step removed from boring everyday reality.
Ethan Coen

In the future, everybody is going to be a director. Somebody’s got to live a real life so we have something to make a movie about.
Cameron Crowe

First cuts are a bitch for a director, because it’s been so many months and you put your trust in your editor and you’re going to see your film assembled for the first time. You look at it and go, This is terrible. I hate it.
Richard Donner

Our feeling is that the most important thing on a set is that actors have enough confidence to try different things. If there’s stress or tension, they won’t go out on a limb because they won’t want to embarrass themselves if they don’t feel completely comfortable.
Peter Farrelly

Casting is 65 percent of directing.
John Frankenheimer

Movement should be a counter, whether in action scenes or dialogue or whatever. It counters where your eye is going. This style thing, for me it’s all fitted to the action, to the script, to the characters.
Samuel Fuller

I’m a storyteller – that’s the chief function of a director. And they’re moving pictures, let’s make ‘em move!
Howard Hawks

One of the great things about being a director as a life choice is that it can never be mastered. Every story is its own kind of expedition, with its own set of challenges.
Ron Howard

Most of my characters are romantic rather than sexual. I think that’s an essential difference in my pictures. I think they are more accurate in portraying young people as romantic – as wanting a relationship, an understanding with a member of the opposite sex more than just physical sex.
John Hughes

The directing of a picture involves coming out of your individual loneliness and taking a controlling part in putting together a small world. A picture is made. You put a frame around it and move on. And one day you die. That is all there is to it.
John Huston

I’m like a navigator and I try to encourage our collaboration and find the best way that will produce fruit. I like fruit. I like cherries, I like bananas.
Jim Jarmusch

I think maybe making films is something innate you can’t really teach to begin with.
Richard Linklater

But having a really good understanding of history, literature, psychology, sciences – is very, very important to actually being able to make movies.
George Lucas

Commitment is the enemy of resistance, for it is the serious promise to press on, to get up, no matter how many times you are knocked down.
David McNally

I always believe it’s better to have 30 imaginations working on a project, rather than one imagination telling the other 29 what to do.
Trevor Nunn

Cinema should make you forget you are sitting in a theater.
Roman Polanski

A style is not a matter of camera angles or fancy footwork, it’s an expression, an accurate expression of your particular opinion.
Karel Reisz

I love making people laugh. It’s an addiction and it’s probably dysfunctional, but I am addicted to it and there’s no greater pleasure for me than sitting in a theater and feeling a lot of people losing control of themselves.
Jay Roach

It’s always been my formula to get the next picture set up before anyone’s seen the last one.
Alan Rudolph

Cinema is a matter of what’s in the frame and what’s out.
Martin Scorsese

People say I pay too much attention to the look of a movie but for God’s sake, I’m not producing a Radio 4 Play for Today, I’m making a movie that people are going to look at.
Ridley Scott

A director must be a policeman, a midwife, a psychoanalyst, a sycophant and a bastard.
Billy Wilder

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